Closing ceremony of Conclusion of works at the Tabak Bridge in Gjakovë/Đakovica

December 19, 2019

Talking Points for Maria Suokko, UNDP Kosovo Resident Representative

Dear Ms. Bakija-Deva, Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports

Dear Ms. Francke, Deputy Head of Cooperation of EU Office EU representative,

Dear Mr. Kolaj, municipal Director of Economic Development

A few weeks ago, we all met to mark the completion of the work at the Terzi bridge. Today, we all joined together to mark the conclusion of the work at the Tabak bridge, another landmark of Gjakovë/Đakovica. Thank you for joining us!

UNDP Kosovo is taking another step in this important journey to preserve Kosovo’s cultural heritage. We have again teamed up with the municipality of Gjakovë/Ðakovica to restore the surroundings of this very important bridge so that its beauty can be enjoyed by people in the community and further away. The result of such a work is visible and I am very pleased to see the change we have been able to make to this area.

This bridge is standing proud for more than 250 years. A group of leather masters came together, joined the forces and decided that such a bridge is a necessity so they could ship their products to the economic centre of that time – Thessaloniki in Greece. It shows that economic development goes beyond any boundaries. It was built using local expertise and construction material from the nearby areas.

This and other similar project interventions have been the core of the UNDP implemented project “Inter-community Dialogue through Cultural Heritage preservation” project. During the last 18 months, the project has completed 16 interventions through which the sites have been restored and rehabilitated.  Kosovo’s map of cultural and religious heritage sites has been enriched – and the sites have been made more accessible for local people and visitors alike.

By doing so, the UNDP is also aiming at achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. These efforts contribute to making cities more liveable and sustainable – more enjoyable for the people who live there. On the other hand, through these efforts we want to promote mutual respect for the cultural heritage across communities – and highlight the value of Kosovo’s diverse cultural heritage. 

Last but not least, I would like to use this opportunity to thank the EU Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace, the Municipality of Gjakovë/Ðakovica, the Ministry and Cultural Heritage Without Borders. Without all of us – this project would have not been completed and completed in such a wonderful way.

Thank you!